For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls…
Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Tired of rejection, she’s ready to swear off men. But after being rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her resolve wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed…
Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5
Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads
Whoboy! Now that is how you write a stellar romance. Sweet, funny mixed with a little spice, enough heart to make a girl swoon, and a horse whisperin' cowboy who'll make you pant and have you begging for a little more. Oh yes. Branded...was a real good time *nods head slowly*
The quick of it is that Sheridan and James have both landed at the Triple C ranch and are...kinda stuck there. Sheridan because her boss is now living there and James--her boss's brother--because he's caring for a herd of wild horses living on the land and can't just abandon them no matter how much he wants to flee to delectable Sheridan... who pretty much makes him nervous as all hell.
I loved Sheridan. I know! *shakes head in amazement* Hardly ever happens. But this chick was great. She's got her head on straight, doesn't do drama, is amazing at her job and a bit socially stunted. She's kept everyone at arms length her whole life to keep from being hurt. And gah I loved seeing her adjusting to life where people cared for her. And where started caring for them too. It sets her a little off balance but was so heartwarming watching her slowly find her place.
And James. Well. James could be a dick. But he was real quick when he was to fix his blunders. So gotta give him some points for that. He's struggling with his own past and fear of letting anyone close--thinking he'll only bring danger to their doorstep-- so his attraction to Sheridan...was hard for him. He's a great guy despite those momentary dickish impulses that hit now and again though. Has a calm about him, loves animals--he really is a horse whisperer--and can bust out the scary protective when needed. Which...pretty damn sexy.
These two. *picture a higher sing songy voice* Yums! heh. They had some fantastic sexual tension working for them and were just great together. They get smooshed together as part of a wedding party which led to some excellent moments as they worked together on different bits and pieces.
"I can have a word with him."
"Absolutely not," she said firmly. "This is my job."
"I'm just saying, if you need backup..."
"I appreciate that, but no, thank you."
"All right." His eyes moved over her face. "But it's a standing offer."
Her skin warmed and tightened under his gaze and she replied with the dumbest question in the world. "How was your shower?"To his credit, James didn't laugh or ask her to leave and never come back. Instead, he smiled. "Wet."
Her eyes widened and every inch of flesh below her navel erupted into flames."And hot," he continued, his tone even.
Her lips parted to accommodate her quicker breaths.
"And if I say it was also a little lonely, will that make you think less of me?" he asked, brow lifted."Not at all," she said weakly. Think less? Was he kidding? That was a thinking MORE kind of question if ever she'd heard one. "But isn't that the very nature of a shower?" she returned. "To wash yourself...alone?" Was she actually saying these words? Out loud?
"Not if you're doing it right," he said with a roguish grin.
There's some nice underlying mystery that connects each of the books in the series and all of the brothers. They're trying to solve the decade old murder of their baby sister and figure out the secrets this town is hiding about what happened to her. There's just enough in each book to keep you equally curious and frustrated--just like the guys. I've really liked how it's been laid out and am at a complete loss for how it all connects. Which...I don't mind at all. It's really been done extremely well.
All in all, Wright knocked it out of the park. Broken--with it's sexy horse whispering hero and no nonsense heroine--was a damn fine read and had all my cowboy lovin' bits pretty much sighing in girlie bliss. And more than willing to do some oh so naughty things to get my hands on the next book. Someone, not saying who, but someone really must...write...faster.
Have you read Wright? Have a favorite?
Do you enjoy slightly socially awkward characters?
More Wright on herding cats!